Hiring a Professional Long Arm Machine Quilter

7 Tips for Hiring a Long Arm Machine Quilter

By Mary Covey

Over the past several years, long arm machine quilting has become both a popular and beautiful way to finish projects. It is also a great business opportunity for many quilters. So, hiring a professional who uses a long arm machine is always an option for getting your projects completed. If you do decide to use a professional quilting service, keep these tips in mind:

  • Ask for references from other customers or from local quilt shops.
  • Ask to see samples of the quilter’s most recent work. Most professionals will have a web page or Facebook page with pictures of their most current work.
  • Check out the quilter’s policies and pricing. A quilter may charge by the square yard or by the square inch. Always ask what is included in the price. My price includes the thread and the labor. Another quilter may include thread, labor, and batting in their price.
  • Agree up front on the quilting design, batting, thread color, completion date, and finished quilting price. Binding your quilt is usually a completely separate price.
  • Be clear about what you expect to receive in exchange for the quoted price. Long arm quilters are just like other professionals (mechanics, electricians, plumbers, etc.), they will be happy to put a quote in writing.
  • Be willing to leave a deposit if it is requested. Just like the plumber, full payment is due when the quilting is competed.
  • Look over your quilt when you pick it up. If you have any questions or concerns about your quilt ask the quilter right then. Any business owner will want to hear your comments and address them immediately.

Because we know how much time and energy you put into making your quilt top, professional long arm quilters take pride in doing a good job for their customers. It is especially gratifying when the customer is pleased with your work. Don’t hide your quilt tops away in the closet. Get them finished by a long arm quilting professtional.

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Defining Success

By Mary Covey

Defining Success

I believe I have been sewing all my life. As a child my grand mother taught me to thread a needle and sew on a button before I was six years old. With lots of trail and error, I taught myself how to use a sewing machine when I was seven. Over the years I worked at improving my skills so that I could make my own clothes.  A master seamstress named Minnie White let me come to her house every Saturday afternoon for a whole summer when I was twelve. She taught me how to measure, fit, and cut a pattern. Her motto was “always try to improve your skills and do your best” (the seam ripper and I became close friends). The suit I made over the course of that summer won a blue ribbon at the state fair.

When I wanted to learn to make a quilt, I took a class at Cotton Patch Fabrics in Tulsa, Oklahoma from Janette Metz, a master quilter. In Janette I saw that same patient spirit and willingness to share her knowledge that I had seen in Minnie. Again I heard the words “do your best” and “always try to improve”. The lessons Minnie and Janette gave became the foundation for all the work I have done since. There are others who have shared their knowledge with me – Betty Terrell, Nancy Mullman, Jane Green, Linda Jenkins, Becki Goldsmith, Ruth Faye, Ellen Medlock, Jane Lewis, Julie Scribner, Larry Black, Nancy Martin, Mary Green, Shirley Pittinger and the list could go on and on. All of these people took the time to share some of their knowledge with me. They are all successful women in my eyes.

Are you a teacher? Do you strive to improve your skills everyday for the benefit of your students?  Do you reach out to each of your students to help them improve? Do you take classes from experts to stay current in your field? Do your students feel like a success when they finish your class?

We have the ability to support and promote others to “do their best”. Kind words of encouragement can make a difference for all of us. We can all be successful if we reach out as often as possible to support and promote our students, friends, and family.

Scrappy Star Quilt with floral backing

Scrappy Star Quilt with floral backing

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Quilter’s Dream

By Mary Covey

Quilters Dream Quilt Store

Every quilter I know loves to visit quilt shops when they travel and I am no exception. Recently while I was in Texas I had the opportunity to visit Quilter’s Dream located in Colleyville just outside Grapevine. The shop was established in 1997 and is owned by Beverly Ingram.

Quilters Dream Quilt Store

Quilters Dream Quilt Store, Colleyville, TX

When you step in the door you are made to feel right at home by the friendly staff.

Quilter's Dream Owner Beverly Ingram

Beverly Ingram, Owner of Quilter’s Dream

The shop features a wide variety of fabrics, books, and patterns. Beverly told me that they write many of their own patterns. Their best known and most popular pattern is called Magic Nine patch. They have also created eight different block of the month programs.  As I rambled through the store, I visited three separate classrooms with students working on projects. I also had the pleasure of visiting with a long arm quilter who works from the shop. It was a pleasant way to spend the afternoon.
If you are every in the area, give Quilter’s Dream a visit. If you can’t go in person you can always visit them on line at www.quiltersdreamtx.com.

 

 

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Inspirations for Quilting!

By Mary Covey

“Where do you get the inspiration for new quilting designs?” is one of the questions that I am  most frequently asked and one of the easiest to answer. Inspiration is all around us in everything from architecture to nature.

Many of the fabrics used by quilters are drawn or photographed directly from nature. Shapes you might be familiar with include grass, leaves, ferns, flowering plants and animals. The beautiful cabbage rose pictured below is just one example.

Shapes that are more geometric in their design are often drawn from everyday architecture. Windows, fence rails, gates, and doorways are examples of places that influence my quilting designs. Pictured below are a few of the pictures that I took to add to my ideas.

Take some pictures the next time you are out and about – you will be amazed at the inspirations you will find.

design inspirations2

 

design inspirations3

 

design inspirations

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